1964-10-11 - Astra IV: Ghosts of Utopia II
Summary: The crisis continues.
Related: Astra IV: Ghosts of Utopia I
Theme Song: None
rogue maximus kaleb 

Maximus shoves Kaleb closer against the wall. "Yes…YES I KNOW." he answers to Kaleb with a panicked tone. "Give me a moment…" He lets go of Kaleb and spreads his hands wide, fingers splayed, as meandering citizens of Attilan close in on him. But, he knows they are coming, and he isn't frightened of them. He knows who they are. They are him. "I have it." He stands up, back still to the wall of the building, and starts stripping off his clothing. Meanwhile, an Attilan citizen, a woman in a tannish apron-dress over a blue-grey dress, also starts stripping. A man takes off his tech jumper in a neutral, rusty orange.

|ROLL| Rogue +rolls 1d20 for: 18

A man who bends gravity has on occasion taught Scarlett. People who emanate powers of telekinesis are widely familiar to her. Therefore measuring trajectory hardly constitutes where someone might be, and the young woman walking freely through the crowd without a care in the world is sure to draw attention. A woman who isn't undressing, that's her. Let those who refuse to drop to the ground be forsaken, then, for she offered good advice. Now, she's simply on the move, daintily reaching for an overhanging pole used to secure bunting and swinging up with modest effort. Oh, the cat's out of the bag she knows how to fly — thanks, Max — but they needn't know how or what lies beneath the pretty bohemienne mask. The calm serenity shivering over her settles into place with every step she takes, and those glacial blue eyes traverse the rooftops and the walls in search of the odd, the untoward, those things that don't belong.

In motion again, the smooth gait of the girl leaping up to the rooftop occurs without a hurry, her hands cuffed behind her back rather like a monk. Place to place. Who doesn't belong, who stirs up that preternaturally acute nonverbal communication awareness?

|ROLL| Maximus +rolls 1d20 for: 15

Kaleb wasn't of a mind to fight Maximus. He hurt in a way he didn't want to revisit, but hey last time he got hurt he had his skin melted off his body. This was weirdly an unpleasant step up. Echo was bleeding and he was shivering in shock presently focusing on his ability to keep himself quiet. His head thunked into wall where he was put roughly with a wince, teeth chattering, and hand shaking trying to keep Max from peeling things from his torso. The good news is of the seven shots taken only two hit, and weather or not one got his kidney was up for debate. So much blood. Dammit he really liked this coat.

Who didn't belong? Well there was no one really found in the area where the shots were fired. No one Not at a glance, not as one might expect to see. There was a boot print where they were. Boot + toe of boot + a knee print? Someone had a good angle. That someone also had do desire, apparently to open on the crowd. It could be reasonably assumed that this was personal as these things often are. Of the Minds Max grappled with most were un-bestowed Inhumans, not yet recipient in their whole self. Most but not all. There was a voice that cake from across the quad, *We will not stand for this tyrany again, Maximus Boltagon!* It almost sounded a bit synthesized. There was still no body and direction for teh sound in the open area could be questionable with the volume of stone.

Maximus grabbed the dress from the woman and shoved it over his head. Then he could see the blood, too much…and his whole body shook for a moment. "Can any of you fly, or…run with speed…or heal?" He asked as he tried to get the coat off Kaleb. Even if he could not get that worker's coat on him, at least he wouldn't be so obviously a fake-him. He grabbed Kaleb's hand and pressed it against his wound. "Keep holding…keep holding. We get to the palace and you will be fine." He promises…which could very well be a lie.

Maximus does not answer the yell from the quad, trying not to give himself away.

Kaleb was listening, carefully. A wet scowl on his face nodded agreement and he left his hand where he was told to. On the upshot the coat had two holes in it. That meant the next part, provided they got that far, would be easier. He was looking blanched, but he fought like hell to focus. His legs squirmed to push himself tighter against the wall. If there was one thing he despised it was someone making him afraid. He had no stomach for it, but he knew how to deal with angry so he tried to focus on that. Deep breaths. Deep…breaths. One hand lifted and he tried to point in a direction with bloody fingers. "Max… they're heading… towards the big tower… thing… couldn't see em… but I could see em." Deep breaths hurt dammit. and he let his hands be put back where they needed to. Gut wound? Really? Ugh.

A couple of Max's meat puppets stepped forward. Whether they were puppets or a willing citizen might be argument for speculation. A man, fairly large, and was a miner, clearly, turned to rock to extend cover on the one side for them. "No, My Lord, but I can carry?" Another woman, maybe twenty bit her lip "I can try to cauterize the wound but I don't know if it would stop all blood flow. I've never done this on a person before.

Kaleb squint at her. Okay that he didn't like the sound of! He did not want his heart congealed! Out over the courtyard there was a voice bouncing through there yelling "Freedom for Attilan! We will not go back to the Kree!"

"Fools! This is the genetic council's fault, for not explaining. For not helping our people!" Max looks at the man and nods. "Pick him up. Hero of Attilan." He praises the man, twisting things so that hopefully later he won't recall that he was sort of /dragged/ into this role. "And you…powers of fire? Burn this. Stay here." He hands her the coat he was wearing. " Kaleb. Just…keep holding it. Keep holding it." Then to the man, "On my mark…we move." Max waits for the bigger fellow to pick up Kaleb, then says, "Move!" His eyes glow blue, but now he's disguised. Anyone that comes near them on the winding path he takes to get back to the city gets pulled into the running, too, forming a fleeing crowd in which he is just another Attilan citizen. Heart pounding…he just prays the palace has not been compromised.

There were people in a panic in the dim streets though many really were heeding the curfew, or at least, couldn't get out of their homes too well and thought it best no tot get trapped elsewhere. But the plan worked. Were they running for refuge? Were they just moving with the crowd to move with it? Could it really be a rogue member of the genetic council? It was someone with some job for certain. The populace wasn't that anonymous. More or less the palace looked unbreeched though there were propaganda posters abound. Someone had a vendetta and they were willing to make a point to do so. Kaleb wasn't wrong though, a fair number of minds were headed towards the end of the city closer to the Tower.

The large man looked to the mutant and nodded. he wasn't certain he was any sort of hero but he was doing what needed to be done at the time. There was an expression of gritted teeth. The rock man should be working for Gorgon if he wasn't. The stature was impressive. Was Maximus willing to use civilians as cover? Yes and the guard that was at the palace saw but a mass of people storming the building nad started closing the doors. They were not perfect yet.

"HOLD!" Maximus stretched out his hand towards the guard as he approached at speed with the rock man and Kaleb, and his crowd. "Loyal guard of Attilan, I will pass, and this man with the injured. The rest can disperse." Not really…shielding himself with their bodies, but…hiding him, certainly, among their number. If the guard doesn't listen to him…Max will just have to make him listen. He wants to be safe before he does anything else!

The guard was still working to head out to respond to the threat. Reasonably, when there's gunfire, and a stampede of people, and your city is in lockdown it was kosher to assume the wort. It was safest for all. The woman at the door squint only faintly at the sight before her but he was of the ROyal family and could make that call. There was a curt nod and they hefted the doors open, one of them falling in with Maximus to… protect them? Keep an eye on them? Spy? Could be anything, but they were doing their job. Too well? Hmmm

Maximus stayed near the rock man holding Kaleb. The guard…he dared to trust for the moment, since no others seemed to be distressed by her presence. His goal was the personal healer for the palace, up one flight, down a hall, and still dressed as the citizen woman, though, looking very much like a man in person, he kept moving, looking at Kaleb just to see him take a breath, or wince. Antyhing, to know he's still alive.

Kaleb was taking short breaths and was staring. Yup. Staring and scowling and remembering to… stay breathing. Sure. Don't focus on how much this super duper fucking hurts. breathingbreathingbreathingbreathing.

The crazed man on a mission was able to get to where they needed to go; long strides and determination convey the troup up to teh second floor leaving spattering on the ground now and then.

A few of the guards turn and look. Were they laying in wait? Collecting data? Confused by the dress? They were probably judging him, right? Of course maybe it could be a Royal walking with purpose and someone creating a mess in teh hall tile. Maybe.

The guard escort who was with them said nothing. Clearly waiting to get Maximus alone or relay information, or… just doing their job?

So many variables.

Outside there was foliage moving without a body to… tamp it down? Curious.

Attilan the Mighty. Attilan the Refuge. Attilan the Secret. Names that lie on Scarlett's tongue like memories of sweet apple pie and cinnamon spice on a crisp autumn evening that many Americans harbour near to their hearts. She walks these cobbles and rooftops lightly, a deepening understanding feathered over her thoughts from an upwelling within. What could she tell them of their home, outsider, diplomat, once and future king queen?

Pretend inferiority and encourage his arrogance. She gives herself away in every sense, roaming from cornice to balcony to precipice, climbing, halting to survey her surroundings with a deeper knowledge. This is home. A violation of peace, a trembling of the foundations the city is built on.

Balk the enemy's power; thus, force him to reveal himself. She is the leaf spinning to an autumnal breeze, purposeful in approaches that hold no evident course. A turn, a twist; Karnak would be mortified at her imprecise ways, but the Thief of Silence plucks a pebble lightly from the ground. No, nothing to see there. Until she whips it with all the force a smooth, untarnished motion can muster towards the leaves. Her strength, and the borrowed memory of it behind her, is terrifying for someone lacking the Thor-like build. And yet…

Maximus makes certain that the right people have hold of Kaleb, and he seems torn about leaving him there, at all, but he's so curious about whatever is occurring at the tower. He turns tothe guard that followed him, halfway in the healer's room and halfway out, "What is happening at the Tower? Something. A convergence of people." He snaps, then looks again after Kaleb, frowning. "Save him. He is a revered guest."

The guard stood at attention at the door and the two healers that were there worked in tandem in silent, almost monk-like efficiency. They knew their task well enough there seemed to be no discussion. Kaleb made a grab for Max's hand but it didn't reach, or even go very far and they went about piling all of his limbs on the table anyways before sedation so they could work without traumatizing their patient.

The guard looked to Maximus and her words were crisp and clear if not a bit concerned, "Some people have been saying things so we have been keeping as many of the sectors gated as instructed. I believe the tower may have access again but I am uncertain at this time. I can have someone find out."

The careful path in the lawn looped back and a synthesized voice harmonized, "You're not supposed to be here. "You're out past curfew. Who do you stand with?" There was a voice, but no body? Something matted the grass.

"Do that." Maximus orders. "Once the systems are restored, the people should be moving more freely. I want nothing gated that is safe. The people need to see what has been done." The Boltagon's voice grows sharp, and Kaleb can hear it from his place, that Max is truly in his role as King, and politician. The demanding quality left no room for argument, and if the genetic council wanted to be in charge in this moment, they'd have to get their asses down here and stop him.

So dances the pebble on its trajectory, skipping out of an impact crater and bouncing along to carve out a new orbit. How hard that rounded decorative rock goes would be enough to plow through a tree trunk and come out the other side, possibly not at the speeds of a bullet but with sufficient pressure per square inch to do some damage to anyone not made of wood, iron, or stone. The latter might pulverize the missile into sand.

The question of sides is met with an inclination of her head, the barest dip of acknowledgment, and a fluid sweep of her hand that levels flat to the ground. The upward curl of her fingers drifts into a crescent, her expressive features molded into something almost blithe, questioning. A pity that the average person in the street has no idea what that specific form of sign means, but then… But then…

Only one person uses that kind of gesture, and that particular gesture belongs to only one man. Poise and restraint may be the watchwords of that particular sort, and one other terrible truth.

If Scarlett answers aloud, there will /be/ no Attilan.

The guard paused but nodded. "I will see the order is relayed, My Lord." The woman wanted to ask more questions but she opted to stand quietly instead. The large stone man was a mess but also wasn't released yet and thus lingered on hand. Not a bad one to conscript to employ.

On the patio Scarlett was setting Chloe's work back by a half day. The tree would live, be grumpy, but live with the impressive trauma idly flicked. The visage of the sniper flickered, though their face was still covered. A woman? The startle made her flicker into being. Her head easily swung back to Scarlett, "They'll come for you. For all of us. You need to get back." What was she talking about.

Maximus definitely knew he wished to keep the giant man close, in the present state. He stands there a moment, just thinking, then looked over the stone man, then to the healers working on Kaleb. "I need to see the council. There will be a response to this attack." A glance to the woman, "Speak."

A soft headshake naturally follows, throwing the shadows of her flaming braids into stark relief. Poor patio suffering that indignity! Her fingertips steeple together, etching out another simple statement. «I will not leave Attilan unprotected. Do not the people deserve a shield against any threat?» Her brow arches slightly, inscribing a shallow crease across her forehead in the direction of the sniper. Ah, something to focus upon. «It may be they come. I will stand against them.»

The sniper phased into view. She wasn't very big but that didn't mean she wasn't able. "Yes a shield HE built to protect us from who? The same enemies he called last time? When the Royal Family went conveniently missing? You didn't live here in that time did you? When your family is torn apart and you lose loved ones because of that maniac then you too will know it to be too late. This needs to be done. It's happening again."

The soldier didn't want to upset the agitated deposed despot. She had common sense. Judiciously, instead, she asked, "My Lord, There was some talk among… people" Citizens, sure. "Are we under attack? I have… family. I'm concerned about them and the resources of the guard are strained." Are we under attack meaning: are all of us or is it just you, sir? could it be? Maybe she meant the Kree?

"You mean right now? Oh no, just me. The city will be fine since I have been busy saving it. This is why the enemy has attacked, you know. They have observed that I have been making headway, making the city safer. I am certain they are also responsible for the posters, which, again, also conveniently have showed up only /after/ I began restoring the systems." Maximus draws in a deep breath. "The strain on the guard will be eased, now that the security measures are being operated elsewhere, instead of the /corrupted/ core. I need to assure the people, who are afraid…just like you. Get me a member of the council."

«I worry for them as much as you do. I lost loved ones then, too.» Not entirely an untruth, for the memories coating Scarlett's own in the first person reflect the same complex emotions of those terrible days when the exile began. Not in the flesh, but in the spirit, when the quivering promise of denial brought down starcraft and beloved leaders. The pinpoint void of Scarlett's pupils contract almost further, her formal tone through tight gestures. «Even if you disagree, how is execution right? Does it not undo our thousands of years of peace and civilization? We are no better than they are. You do not need to do this to make change.»

Rapid flickers of her fingers accompany the words, nuances falling in ever so graciously with the fluidity they don't always have.

The guard could take Maximus with a wary grain of salt. The danger was while normally she could be any number of people that might look down their nose at him but do their job dutifully? A part of her needed him to be right. Her head dipped and turned. She looked at him and offered unsolicited opinion, "They're very good at their job." The guard had to go to see someone after all. The woman excused herself from the room leaving Maximus to a miasma of thoughts and tiny whirrs of machines working efficiently to treat their mess of a patient.

The woman didn't seem to understand but after being patient Scarlett was able to find a way that she was able to communicate. The assassin took a step back fading to translucency, "The Kree are back and HE brought them. He did it before, what more evidence is needed? You don't think that this wasn't some plan created to make a need ? Do you really believe that? If we were better than anyone else why is he not arrested? Why do people do nothing? We cannot afford to lose what we have left."

Maximus watches the woman go. "Remain here…do not let anyone enter, and I promise, you will be rewarded for your heroic service." Already planting the seed that helping was this guy's idea all along. He then turns to move more into the room. he does NOT want to interrupt their efforts to save Kaleb, and he allows himself a moment to indulge in worry and fear and all the things a normal man would, when faced with the death of someone close to them. He balls his hands into fists. "How are things progresssssing?" he asks impatiently.

The best she can do is gesture at the woman, and then herself. Two fingers simulate walking alongside her, as she steps towards the tree. Pointing to her eyes, she then points back to the woman. «Show me.» Tracing words in the dirt is the least lovely way of handling these things, and it's not as though Scarlett ever lacks for a paper and pen. Not ever, and that will do in a pinch. «This cannot be one person alone. Take me there. Let me help. This is our city. If Kree come, we must be ready.»

The sniper looked at Scarlett for a long moment and finally she nodded. Apparently the willingness to listen was what she wanted. The doing of something to bring the city out of the clutches of 'the Mad'. She didn't want to see the Kree return. She didn't want to see people enslaved and she didn't want to hear that she lost another family member who was exiled because someone got a burr up their butt. Scarlett's reasonable offer was met with welcome.

Maximus, however, was not met with an answer. Did these techs talk? It was unnerving. It might not be too dissimilar to watching an octopus knit all sides of a sweater at the same time. Finally, finally, one of them looked up and spoke dispassionately as if their mind was still in their work, "The projectile did not stop so there is no risk of foreign shrapnel. We are knitting the damaged tissues from the inside out and presently watching for bone fragmentation." Head went down and back to work. Totally a knitting octopus. Attilan did have crazy technology the mortal world's yet to enjoy such as laser cauterization and flash-craters. Listening to blood and bone being forced back into place was as uncomfortable as one could imagine.

Kaleb seemed to be unconscious at least, and while having lost a lot of blood was still breathing. It was not impressive but it was happening. While not instantaneous, they could finish repairs in an hour. A very…very… long… hour. and then wait.

Maximus waits for two things. That councilmember to arrive, and Kaleb to wake up. And unless someone tries to assassinate him in the meantime, thats what he does.

Whence goeth the sniper, so goeth the philosopher-queen. That serene expression conceals the Soul-Thief's intentions, whatever they might possibly be. Constraints laid upon her by the elder brother of the House of Agon glosses any misgivings, however flapping posters and deeply disturbing scenes of violence turned upon a hidden city prick at her conscience. Call her a heretic to follow a barely seen sniper. Much like the Mephistopheles of Attilan, she has certain untapped talents. Let the barely visible woman guide the way into destruction and ruin, to hope and trust, and something in between. Not for nothing is she something of a diplomat.

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